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Myth of Addiction: Everyone Equally Endangered

Myth of Addiction - The Bergand Group

Understanding addiction is no easy feat. We’ve talked at length about the many kinds of misinformation that circulates, making it very difficult to determine what the truth and facts are. The myth of addiction includes the concepts that either everyone is equally susceptible to addiction, or that specific demographics are more at risk… depending on what you believe.

Truths out of the Myth of Addiction

The best place to start with these kinds of discussions is a cited source. For example: “New county-level data from the CDC highlight the extreme geographic variation in opioid prescription rates, with some areas showing average morphine equivalents per capita 10 times greater than those of less-impacted counties.” Does this mean, without question, that specific groups of people and areas of the country are more at risk for addiction than others? It seems to suggest that yes, this is the truth as supported by the evidence of the CDC.

However, this doesn’t mean that addiction only affects certain people. The difference is that while everyone has the potential to develop an addiction, not everyone is at the same level of risk as others. Within states, too, different pieces are more vulnerable and report higher numbers of cases than in even neighboring communities.

The myth of addiction has lead some to believe that those with more money are more likely to develop a substance abuse problem since they are better equipped to purchase these costly drugs. However, this is not the case in most instances. Opioids, or prescription pills, are themselves expensive, but most people move on from them based on that price and opt for cheaper alternatives, like heroin or fentanyl, both of which have often-deadly effects. To assert that it is more often the richer populations as a result of drug costs is not in line with the data that the CDC has reported.

Those who are still able to receive these addictive substances from doctors and other health professionals are certainly at risk of addiction, and this danger cannot be ignored. There is no question that something must be done to curtail the amount of pills that doctors are prescribing throughout the country. However, those who are turned away aren’t safe, either. They are likely going to find something similar out on the streets, and this is unlikely to be a “pure” product, putting them at much greater risk for overdose and other potentially-fatal complications.

The bottom line is that though everyone can become addicted to opioids, the myth of addiction that everyone faces the same level of risk is just that: a myth. The former president said “Don’t overprescribe without providing some mechanisms for people in these communities to deal with the pain that they have or the issues that they have,” and that is what we should be focusing on. It’s essential to try and help patients of all kinds to find relief from, say, chronic pain, but health  professionals can’t remove one “solution” without coming up with another, more effective one. Otherwise, these people aren’t getting the kind of help they need at all.

If you or someone you care about needs help recovering from drug use or abuse, then contact The Bergand Group. We offer recovery programs for yourself or for others or are seeking education materials about addictions. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center and offers support for those struggling with drug addiction and mental health issues, including direction for those who may be denying an addiction.  We can help you to work through your addiction in a safe and healthy environment where everyone is committed to your care.

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About The Bergand Group:

At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehab and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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